The new Shiva is a completely different helmet than Kali's current premier DH model, the Avatar Carbon 2.
The shell is more rounded at the back, with a pair of ridges running parallel on the top, where the Avatar-2 has a single fin and is more pointed in the rear. That said, the length and width of the two helmets are nearly identical. The venting strategy is also changed, presumably to shift the rear vents to stronger positions in order to pass DOT protocols. A rubber strip under the brow of the new helmet has air intakes that use the high pressure zone created by the goggles and visor to direct cooling air into channels under the internal padding. A number of L-shaped and ovalized slots in the rear of the shell act as exhaust vents. The Shiva's chin protector is much more substantial than the Avatar as well, with a pronounced I-beam profile to add strength with a minimal increase in weight, and the front-piece is taller and wider too. Peripheral vision tests validate that the only impediment to the rider's complete range of vision will be due to goggle selection and on that subject, the new Kali will accept oversized, ski-style goggles. The visor is new also, with a wider shape and more rounded bill. Kali's thumb-screw visor adjustment is integrated into a break-away insert that can be switched out with a camera mount kit that is included with the helmet, along with a spare insert and an extra visor.
Inside, Kali uses molded cheek pieces made from slow-memory foam so they will conform to individual facial profiles and feel snug without undue pressure. The beautifully crafted, washable liner snap-fits into the shell and has generous cavities for the ears - a nice touch which ensures that those who wear glasses under goggles will not have the earpieces forced against their temples. The padded retention system is the simple D-ring standard. Kali is working on adapting the Eject insert for the new Shiva, an update which is scheduled for all future helmets, although our first-production model was not equipped with it. For those unfamiliar with the Eject helmet removal system
, it is a pneumatic bladder inserted into the helmet that is inflated in an emergency situation to extract the rider's head from the helmet while minimizing trauma to the neck, head or spine.
Key to the Shiva's low weight and super-slim profile is Kali's third-generation Composite Fusion-3 EPS liner. The dual-density liner is molded with a layer of tri-sided pyramids that reportedly interact with the second EPS layer to dissipate impact energy laterally, throughout the liner. Kali has been experimenting with various shapes and arrangements of its Composite Fusion liner, and they discovered that the tri-sided spikes were notably more effective. Using the CF-3 EPS liner, in addition to molding the liner directly into the carbon fiber shell, increased the helmet's impact survivability to the extent that Kali was able to reduce the thickness of the combined liner and shell by over 30 percent, when compared its conventional DOT certified full-face helmets. The new Shiva measures only 9.1 inches wide in the medium/large size (231mm)
. A smaller, lighter helmet not only looks better, but it stores less inertia, so it puts less stress on the neck when the rider is pounding over rough ground - or when surviving a high-speed yard sale.
On the subject of weight, our large-sized test-production helmet weighed 1040 grams - 41 grams over Kali's 999-gram target for its Summer 2014 release date. While 1040 grams is light for a DOT certified full-face helmet. The Shiva's predecessor, the non-DOT certified Avatar Carbon 2, weighs a scant 840 grams in the medium shell size, which indicates that Kali should have no problem making good on its promise.